Union Public Schools reports several COVID-19 cases in first week

The district started in-person classes on Aug. 24

VIDEO: Union schools reports cases of coronavirus

TULSA, Okla. — Union Public Schools released its first update Monday on its daily COVID-19 reports in the district after its first week back in classrooms.

The district, which began the semester with in-person learning on Aug. 24, says that 10 students were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 by their parents on the first day. An additional 25 students were reported to be in quarantine due to “close contact” and did not come to their school.

Six district employees self-reported as having COVID-19 and 10 more were in quarantine on Aug. 24.

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More than 5,200 Union Public Schools students are enrolled in virtual learning for the start of the semester.

“Like a Daily Absence Report, this report shows all reported cases among students and district staff,” the district says.

“It does not necessarily mean they exposed others at a school or other district site. This report will change daily as new cases are added and other cases roll off.”

During the first week of school, Union Public Schools says they notified students and parents of exposures at these school sites:

  • Darnaby Elementary: Over the weekend, the district was notified that a student tested positive. The teacher and entire class have been quarantined due to close contact and moved to distance learning effective immediately.
  • Jarman Elementary: Nine staff members and 13 students have been quarantined due to a student exhibiting possible symptoms and their parent’s positive test. The affected students have been moved to distance learning until results are available from staff tests. Parents have been advised to watch for symptoms and to contact their pediatrician should symptoms arise.
  • Ellen Ochoa Elementary: A staff member is awaiting test results. They had close contact with another staff member who is also quarantining.
  • Union Freshman Academy: A teacher aide tested positive and is in isolation. Contact tracing revealed no students or staff had close contact
  • Union’s Education Service Center: A department at the district’s administrative offices has been quarantined due to close contact with a Covid-positive staff member. They will be working remotely from home until test results are available.

“This is a great reminder to parents, teachers, staff and students that we need to continue to be vigilant in monitoring for Covid-like symptoms,” says Union Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler.

“Students need to be kept home if they have a fever or other symptoms, or if anyone in their household has had a possible exposure to Covid-19 or is being tested. That’s the only way we can keep students safe and continue with in-person learning. Everyone needs to continue to mask up, follow physical distancing guidelines, and wash hands frequently.”

Before the first week of school, 1,150 Union employees submitted to a COVID-19 antibody test as a proactive measure. Of those tested, 11 tests came back positive for the antibodies.

The 11 individuals then participated in nasal swab tests to determine if they have the active virus; of those, six tested positive for the coronavirus and five tested negative. Only two of the six positive cases were teachers at Union.